Elder Packer Tells Gentile Neighbors to Call Him "Boyd"
SANDY, UT--"He's a cool guy," said Paul Carballo about his neighbor Elder Boyd K. Packer of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. "If you hadn't told me, I wouldn't have known he's a bigwig in the Mormon Church. Is he really second in line to become prophet?"
Carballo and his wife, Debra, recently moved from Boston to Sandy because Paul's software company employer gave him a mandatory transfer. "My wife is Jewish, so we were really nervous about moving to Utah," Carballo said. "But Boyd and Ethyl came right over and introduced themselves. He and my wife both do some painting, and they talked about it so long Ethyl and me started getting bored."
Carballo said his wife and Packer have traded paintings, and now one of Packer's Mount Olympus scenes hangs above the toilet in their guest bathroom.
Asked whether the Packers have offered him a copy of the Book of Mormon or a visit from the missionaries, Carballo said, "No, they've been real cool about that. Some other people have tried to hard-sell us, especially the parents of our daughter's schoolmates--but not the Packers. They invited us to a Christmas thingy at the church, but it was more a neighborhood gathering than a religious service. My wife didn't mind because Santa was scheduled to make an appearance, and our daughter believes in him."
Area resident Carl Johansen expressed some envy of the Carballos. "Man, I would never call him Boyd or show up at his house in anything but a white shirt and tie," Johansen said. "I would stress over whether I could leave home my suit coat. But I saw the Carballos at a barbecue in the Packers' backyard, and Boyd--I mean Elder Packer--was wearing knee-length cutoffs and flip flops. I noticed that all Mrs. Carballo had on was a halter top and short-shorts."
Asked why he doesn't become buddies with church members like he has with the Carballos, Packer said: "Members of this church are bound by numerous unwritten rules that are almost as binding as the commandments. They must treat the Lord's anointed with nothing but respect and the utmost in protocol, otherwise the Spirit is offended. However, sometimes it's a relief for an apostle to let down his hair and hang out with some people who know me just as Boyd."
Packer added, "By the way, my proper title is President Packer, not Elder Packer, since I'm Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I wish the people in my ward could remember that."